To mark World Environment Day 2022, we surveyed our cyclists to find out if they felt governments and councils are acting fast enough to enable cycling. We asked: A recent IPCC report has found that 'cycling is one of the lifestyle changes with the largest potential to reduce individual carbon footprints.' Do you think councils and governments are acting fast enough to enable more cycling? If they responded with no, we also asked respondents to let us know what more governments could be doing to increase rates of cycling in their county.
A big thank you to all who filled out the survey and participated. We were delighted to see such a large number of comments left with ideas on how governments can take action to enable more cycling - many of which were extremely detailed and passionate on the steps that need to be taken. We will share some of these comments below.
A huge 98.2% of those surveyed responded No, stating that local and national governments were not acting fast enough to enable cycling. It is clear from the results that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the urgency with which authorities are acting to enable cycling in our cities.
In addition to this, respondents were also asked to highlight what more they felt governments could be doing to enable cycling, and plenty of strong ideas were provided.
We have categorised the responses to the question, What more could governments and councils be doing? below. The clear answer here for most respondents was the need for better infrastructure and more cycle lanes. Importantly, it was often stated that simply painting more cycle lanes would not be sufficient, with many stressing that infrastructure should be segregated, connected and ultimately go where people wanted to go.
Aside from improving infrastructure, a wide range of other strategies were also provided by respondents. Many stressed the need to move away from car dependency and the importance of promoting active travel when possible. It was also interesting to see a number of comments highlighting the need for more training and education in regards to cycling, with the aim of making people feel comfortable, safe, and most importantly knowledgeable out on the roads. A few less common, but nevertheless very valuable ideas, were the need to increase the amount of cycle parking, implement more effective legislation to enable cycling, and better policing of speed limits and poor driving. The full results are as follows:
Increase Cycle Lanes and Improved Infrastructure - 68.9%
"There is a climate emergency. We need to encourage people out of cars for short journeys, particularly school runs and commuting. There needs to be incentives to get out of the car and higher sanctions for using private vehicles for short journeys."
"Funding training on how to interact with other road users so people have to confidence to ride on the road."
"Promoting cycling routes and benefits of cycling, creating and keeping cycle lanes clear - including cycle routes that avoid major roads to increase safety, reduce distances travelled by cycling (I.e. shortcuts that cars cannot utilise) and increasing enjoyment - this might be next to canals, streams, using old railway lines, across parks and green spaces."
"Creating more cycle corridors between towns and cities."
"Retain dedicated cycle paths from coronavirus lockdowns. Provide bike storage on public-transport, especially trains."
"Cycle lanes that make sense, and actually go where people want to go. Secure storage. Discounts on bikes. Reduced road tax if you cycle x number of days a week instead of driving."
"Build dedicated cycling infrastructure to make all cyclists safer and make it easier for those just starting out cycling or with less confidence. Here in Peterborough, UK, I think that they are actually removing more cycling infrastructure (admittedly horrible painted cycle lanes in the gutter of busy roads) than they are adding and most of the rest is shared with pedestrians - if you're trying to use them during the day the only reasonable thing to do is walk with your bike."
"Many, many more segregated cycle lanes that connect in a meaningful way. Educating motorists about safety."
"Ensuring that all new build housing and commercial sites have adequate cycle paths, also new road builds to include cyclepaths."
"Lower speed limits in busy areas. Better thought out road layout with cycling (and pedestrian) safety fundamentals. Priority given to cyclists (and pedestrians) at road junctions in the new Highway Code: reinforcing the message with signage (and removal of old signage that requires cyclists to give way) Fixing potholes and dangerously bad road surfaces."
Thanks once again to all who participated in this survey. If you would like to help improve conditions for cycling in your local area, you can do so by using See.Sense Report, available through the See.Sense App. See.Sense Report enables cyclists to highlight any issues they encounter on their ride, from close passes to potholes, as well as submit requests for infrastructure improvements. Importantly, this data is used to influence cities and transport planner decision makers.